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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Announce New Research Funding

PITTSBURGH, April 8, 2010 – Innovative research conducted by faculty of the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences contributes to a better understanding of the causes and origins of disease and aids in the development of more effective treatment approaches. Government and private-sector funding is critical to this process of scientific inquiry. The following projects recently have been awarded grants that will enable the continuation of existing projects or the pursuit of new areas of investigation:

  • The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences has received a five-year, $4.75 million grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to continue its Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Telerehabilitation, the only research center of its kind. The main emphasis of the center is to investigate the value and effectiveness of rehabilitation services delivered in consumer homes, workplaces and communities.
  • Samuel Poloyac, Pharm.D., Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Paula Sherwood, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor, Department of Acute and Tertiary Care, School of Nursing, are co-principal investigators on a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Institute for Nursing Research. This collaborative research project between the School of Pharmacy and School of Nursing will help to identify key factors that predict complications and outcomes in patients who have had a subarachnoid hemorrhage in the brain to develop early intervention strategies.
  • Leming Zhou, Ph.D., principal investigator and assistant professor, Department of Health Information Management, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, received a two-year, $283,640 grant from the National Science Foundation for his project titled, “Health Computing: Integrating Computational Thinking into Health Science Education.” The project’s aim is to teach undergraduate students in health information management and other health science students to grasp the skills of extracting information from large data sets using computing concepts, technologies, tools, and methods which are referred to as “computational thinking.”
  • Thomas Krivak, M.D., assistant professor,  School of Medicine, and director, Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, received the 2009-2010 GCF/Caring Together NY Ovarian Cancer Research Grant from the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation in the amount of $50,000. The 14-month research grant will examine different gene alterations in order to help identify patients who are most likely to respond to different therapies.
  • Gretchen M. Ahrendt, M.D., FACS, and Jules Sumkin, D.O., both of the Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC Breast Cancer Program, received one-year grants from the Pittsburgh Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to support an interdisciplinary breast surgery and a breast imaging fellowship. The grants totaled $133,000.
  • Magee Womancare International was awarded $17,100 to develop and facilitate Mujeres Educando Mujeres: Breast Health in the Latina Community, a breast health program targeting Pittsburgh’s Latina population. The grant, from the Pittsburgh Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast health outreach and education to underserved communities in Pittsburgh will expand through the training of Spanish-speaking promotores, Breast Self Examination community educators, and promotion of breast health awareness education and outreach activities to Latinas, in collaboration with organizations serving the Latino community.

The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences include the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Graduate School of Public Health. The schools serve as the academic partner to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Together, their combined mission is to train tomorrow’s health care specialists and biomedical scientists, engage in groundbreaking research that will advance understanding of the causes and treatments of disease and participate in the delivery of outstanding patient care. Since 1997, Pitt and its affiliated university faculty have ranked among the top 10 educational institutions in grant support from the National Institutes of Health.

For additional information about the Schools of the Health Sciences, please visit

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